George Barna wrote The State of the Church in 2002. Barna conducted a survey of self-pronounced Christians and here's what he found about their knowledge of the Bible.
Now, remember these are Christians...
- 48% could not name the four Gospels.
- 52% cannot identify more than two or three of Jesus' disciples.
- 60% of American Christians can't name even five of the 10 Commandments.
- When asking graduating high school "born again Christians" over 50% of them thought Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
- 61% of American Christians think the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
- 71% of American Christians think "God helps those who help themselves" is a Bible verse.
No wonder George Barna said, "Americans revere the Bible but, by and large they don't know what it says. And because they don't know it, they have become a nation of Biblical illiterates."
Listen, you may or may not be an American, I don't know.
But the point of the result of the survey is, you don't want to be a so called "Christian" but doesn't know what God's Word is.
You and I should consistently read, memorize, and meditate scriptures.
This way, we're ready to defend our faith and encourage others through God's Word.
If you feel some guilt with the message today then NOW is the time to change.
Just as Christ did, we are to be those who will stand in the gap on behalf of others who are not aware of their own vulnerable condition. It is a proactive sacrificial position. Who is God calling you to stand in the gap for? Perhaps it is a mate; perhaps it is a coworker who has not come to know the Savior; perhaps it is a wayward child. Are you willing to become the sacrificial offering to God to change His plans of judgment because of your willingness to stand in their place? This is a hard teaching. This is what Jesus did for each of us. When we stand in the place of another, God moves because of our willingness to stand on their behalf. If we don't, His plans will go forward because He is a righteous and holy God who will honor His own word, even if it means destruction. Are you willing to stand in the breach of the wall for someone today? Perhaps you are the only person who will stand on someone's behalf.
God has put you where you are today. You have a sphere of influence. You have a circle of friends. You have neighbors around you. You have coworkers and others with whom you come in contact on a regular basis. Will you go to them? Or will you run from them?
You might ask, "Well, if I don't go, will the job still get done?"
As a matter of fact, it will get done. The reality is that God doesn't need you. Certainly God doesn't need me. But God does want us to participate in the process.
When God says go, what will you say?